Rep. Barletta: $15 million coming for Bloomsburg floodwall project

Oct 29, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, is proud to announce that the federal government will provide $15 million for a floodwall project to protect about 1,000 manufacturing jobs in Bloomsburg.

“For decades, the people of Bloomsburg have waited for some good news from the federal government regarding their flood protection, and today’s announcement brings $15 million worth of great news,” Rep. Barletta said. “This funding will help keep these manufacturing jobs, not just in Columbia County, but in the United States. In today’s economic climate, it is important that we protect every single job we can, so this $15 million grant comes at the perfect time.”

The $15 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will help fund the design and construction of a floodwall around Autoneum (formerly Rieter Automotive North America) and Windsor Foods, two of Columbia County’s largest employers. Both of these manufacturers endure damaging flooding when the Susquehanna River and Fishing Creek overflow their banks.

The amount of the federal funding is based on a project review by EDA analysts. According to media reports, additional funding for the floodwall project would come from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and from Autoneum and Windsor Foods.

“As we see during the current storm, even the threat of flooding puts these jobs in jeopardy. We have to take whatever steps we can to protect these jobs and allow these companies to grow, expand, and hire even more workers. Fifteen million dollars from the federal government will help provide the protection these companies need to stay in Columbia County for the long term,” Rep. Barletta said.

“I know the people of Bloomsburg have been pleading for flood protection since Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and in many cases, years before that. Protecting the people of the 11th District from flooding has been one of my top priorities since I took office, so I’m grateful the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help fund this project,” Rep. Barletta added.

The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.